Student Experience Blog

Getting Higher

So my first summer in Idaho is progressing and is sadly almost over for me. Soon soccer will start and I will be doing 2 a day sessions in the Caldwell heat as we prepare for this year’s season of Women's Soccer. However before I am tied down in one place, I have been lucky to do some more exploring of this lovely state.

This time I got a chance to hike/climb Mt Borah. Mt Borah is Idaho’s highest peak at 12,668 feet and is apparently named after one of Idaho’s past senators. It’s in the Challis National Forest and close to the town of Mackey (I recommend you take your own food because the food in these small towns is not that great and quite expensive.) This was another first for me, as this was the first mountain I have climbed.

The hike up to the summit is fairly hard and very steep with hardly any switch backs. It is essentially a 5,262 vertical feet hike from the trailhead to the summit in just over 3.5 miles (according to Summitpost.org.) This was a challenge for me and I wasn’t sure how well I would cope climbing a mountain for the first time. It was all good until we came to a part of the mountain called “Chicken Out Ridge,” which as name suggests is an ominous ridge that questions people’s bravery and their ability to continue. When we went last week, the ridge was more of a snow bridge and we were able to cross safely walking in existing foot prints. However I will admit that walking across the ridge was pushing my comfort zone and I am sure that my mother would have appreciated me crossing it.

With a lot of sweating, snacking, hiking and a bit of climbing we made it to the summit, where we found not only a beautiful view but also a collection of items left behind. Part of this collection included half of the Idaho state flag, a pb&j, a beer, half a golf club and a geocash. We sat at the summit for a while; however, there were a few annoying middle aged women with a radio in their backpack who arrived just after us. So after taking photos of them in ridiculous poses (they asked us) we decided to head back down as fast as we could. And to be honest the way down hurt more than the way up. By the end we could hardly wait to see the campsite and get some water and food into us. Unfortunately, I also got quite a bad sunburn on this trip, so the next day I was in a lot of pain, but the experience was definitely worth it.

- Natasha Rooney